We've been to plenty of towns that seemingly shut down during the winter. But we're not most towns. Sure, we can Netflix in pajama pants with the best of 'em, and we aren't saying that we don't sometimes long for snow days applied to our adult jobs, but us Santa Feans take great strides to engage with any number of seasonally appropriate activities. We're talkin' Farolito Walk and maker's markets, historical gatherings and Christmas events; New Year's Eve parties and eating too much for a good cause. We're used to it. We love it. We'll see you out there.

Christmas at the Palace

Dec. 8

Take the kids and the abuelos to the Palace of the Governors from 5:30 to 8:30 pm for this free event that includes music, craft-making, cider and the works from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, all in the historic building on the Plaza.  

Shoes for the Santo Niño

Dec. 8 and 9

Purchase tickets for this one-act opera commissioned by the University of New Mexico for the New Mexico Centenary, performed in the Basilica St. Francis.

String of Lights Holiday Market

Dec. 9

The Farmers Market pavilion in the Railyard is the site of this market hosted by the AHA Festival of Progressive Arts. Visit between 5 and 9 pm to select from handcrafted gifts.

Las Posadas

Dec. 10

A traditional candlelight procession starts at 5:30 pm, retelling the Bible story of Mary and Joseph seeking room at the Inn. Watch for dudes dressed like the devil, jeering from various rooftops. Get hot cider at the courtyard in the Palace after. If you’re really into this kind of thing, connect with others in the city who host Las Posadas at different locations for more than a week.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden GLOW

Dec. 15-31

Get outside under the stars for this hands-down favorite non-traditional winter evening outing for all generations. Spectacular lights illuminate dormant plants and art—even better if there’s snow on the ground to reflect from. Fires keep the walkways of the botanical garden cozy. Check the online schedule for musical acts and special events. Closed on Dec. 24 and 25. Entrance is from 5 to 8 pm nightly; kids under 12 are free.  

The Nutcracker

Dec. 16 and 17

Professional dancers from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet join with students from education programs to present the annual show with Southwestern flair—the only story ballet the company performs each year. Buy tickets through the Lensic box office for four performances.

Winter Indian Market

Dec. 16 and 17

More than 100 Native artists set up with help from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts in the La Fonda Hotel for the indoor version of the region’s most popular outdoor summer art market.  9 am-5 pm Saturday Dec. 16; 10 am-3 pm Sunday Dec. 17. $10-15.

Farolito Walk

Dec. 24

Perhaps the city’s most well-known holiday tradition, this one draws a big crowd. Walk with the throngs, sing a few songs. Maybe the fire marshal will let someone set off flying paper lanterns like that one time. Pro tip: Bundle up and stay close to your peeps—but if you get separated, just make new friends. Good luck with the whole downtown parking thing.

New Year’s Eve on the Plaza

Dec. 31

Entertainment starts at 9 pm on the Plaza, and the city promises to supply piñon bonfires and stationary propane heaters so attendees can enjoy Sol Fire, Alex Maryol and the Fun Addixx, then a countdown from the mayor. The Kiwanis Club supplies the hot chocolate and biscochitos and plans to erect a banner upon which people can write hopes for the new year.

Souper Bowl

Jan. 27

Eat your way through elevated renditions of soup from dozens of Santa Fe restaurants in this elbow-to-elbow community celebration to benefit The Food Depot. Vote for your favorite in each category. Tickets go on sale at the Lensic on Dec. 1 for the event that fills the big ballroom at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Best of Santa Fe Nominating Party

Feb. 8
The voting period for SFR’s community reader poll begins with the nomination round. Visit us at this event to make sure your faves make the final ballot.